2 September 2020

Zona Alfa: A Walk in Chernya Woods

Alright comrades listen up. The first run was a success for us, I know we didn't bring out a lot of cash - but experience is a reward on its own. Especially for a couple of rooks like you. Now that case we extracted is a treasure map - guns, inventory, ammo. We need to get into this bunker. Problem is some outsider, ganger, no brains got a hold for the key for the bunker. We don't have the ordinance to open the can without the key. 

This is not gonna be a walk in the park, we're going into Chernya Woods. Dangerous hot spots in there, nasty critters. I'm not sure those bandits know what they're doing setting up camp in there. They won't be missed. With a bit of luck they're already ripped apart and we just go searching for corpses - but it might turn into a firefight.

You all still have your grenades, drop whatever change i have left on extra bullets. You're not ready for all the sneaky sniper stuff yet - it'll just go to shit. No, we're gonna make it rain lead instead.

We're moving out in thirty. 


So my Zona Alfa crew of independents are going on their second run into the Zone. This time the guys are going into Chernya Woods. After the run to the abandoned BTR-80 they got a hold of a military attaché case. In the case were directions to a big stash of valuable loot. But to get into the complex my crew need a key and that key is held big Big Nikolai and a band of bandits.

So they're off into Chernya Woods to attack a bandit camp, secure the key card and perhaps score some other look on the way.

For the game I'm using the the solo rules additions posted on Osprey's Blog.

Before playing a scenario, I always make sure to have the right terrain pieces and objectives. For me it's a great motivator, that's also why we also roll scenarios before a game date. For the Walk in Chernya Woods I have to make five new forest bases to proper cover a 3'x3' mat, when there's not much else on the board.

And that's pretty much the setup. Lots of woods and single trees. I placed to forest bases of all dead trees to mark out hot spots - and added some rusty oil drums to those places.

The mat and road are homemade, painted on some cheap felt.

At the center of the board is the bandit camp and as per the scenario description they have some barricades set up. I expanded the camp look with a few tents and a campfire. The five bandits were put at random positions along the barricades and all started with action points saved for overwatch.

To up the the difficulty I split my squad into two groups and then roll for random board edges for them to enter. This turned out, so that my crew would be attacking the board from opposite sites. And I decided to put them in tight groups of three.

The plan was for my leader to give action points to a rookie with his leader skill, and the team members being close together - to better tackle the hotspots. One guy can spot the spot (giving a better result on the summoned enemies), another will throw a bolt at it from safe distance and the third is ready to shoot anything that spawns with some overwatch.

Team one was leader Dimitry, hardened (bone doc) Kirsh, rookie Sulla. Team two was veteran Sasha, hardened (LMG) Peotr and rookie Oleg.

Then before starting the game I rolled to check which weather conditions we would be working under - a sunny day in the park, no troubles there.

Zona Alfa seems like a game where the crews bank account will grow very slowly, as grenades and med-kits will need replenishing after games. So it was important for my gang to try and clear the hotspots in the area, to earn some important cash - and hopefully not take any real casualties doing it.

Rolling to high on the table for random enemies would be a disaster, no way in hell could my guys take out another group of bandits - but that's the zone for you.

Turn 1
Stick to the plan for as long as possible. Team one started out, well covered by all the trees the bandits could draw no line of sight from the start of the game. And as planned my leader gave an AP to the rookie, the hot spot was scouted (giving a +/- 1 on the random encounter table) and a bolt was tossed at it by the rookie Sulla.

The luck sure seemed to smile on Dimitry's crew - a single zone rat spawned. A single rat, happy days. A bit excessive doing 7.62 rat catching, but never mind that.

The bone-doc Kirsh takes the shot, get a critical hit, kills the rat out right - and with the extra AP he can already move to the hotspot.

Team two moves forward, trying to stay in cover behind trees. Unlike team one, the make sure to not trigger the nearby hot spot - too many enemies close by. Veteran Sasha gets spotted by the alert bandits and they open fire on him. He's hit badly and must spend his personal med-kit to stabilize the wounds - he gets two pinned counters. The attack on this front is slowed down.

 The bandit leader Big Nikolai also opens up at team two, but rolls a fumble and jams his weapon - he then spends the second action removing the pinned token. A bandit near him also opens up with his AK47, but he misses all his shots.

The remaining bandits doesn't do anything. The rookies only have 1 action point, they didn't have any line of sight, so staying alert in overwatch is a better choice. When playing solo, make the enemies smart - even if it's not covered by the rules. 

Turn 2
I'm staring off with team one and bone-doc Kirsh searches the hot spot, he finds 350 worth of items and a gas mask. But an alert bandit does spot him from the camp and fires his AK47, but fortunately he misses.

The my leader Dimitry and rookie Sulla moves closer to the bandit camp, staying in cover behind oil drums and trees.

Intervention! I play with rules that allow the enemy to take over the turn, and at this point it happens. Big Nikolai once again shoots at my veteran Sasha and once again hits him - bringing him down. And he's out of med-kits.

Another bandit shoot at rookie Sulla in the other direction and hits him, he's brought down. Sulla use his med-kit to patch himself up in cover of a pine tree, he's pinned down.

Absolutely deadly, it's only turn two and I'm running out of medical supplies.

Now it's time for the rest of team two to take action. Rookie Oleg runs to Sasha, trying to get in to help bandage him up - don't want to do injury rolls on my veteran. That's worth sacrificing a rookie for.

The LMG armed hardened Piotr shoots down a bandit, ripping him apart in a hail of 7.62.

Turn 3
Starting this turn with my medic Kirsh. He opens fire at a bandit in the camp and kills him. Then not having any clear targets, he throws a flashbang at big Nikolai and a goon, hoping to add some pin counters to them. He manages to hit the bandit leader and takes away a crucial action point from him.

And after this first model the bandits intervene and take over the turn. Darn! The remaining bandits all open fire. One bad guy shoots at Kirsh, hits him and brings him down - he spends a med-kit to stabilize himself. But the bandit rolled a critical hit and fires his AK again, fortunately missing the second shot.

Big Nikolai and the goon next to him also shoot, trying to bring down the rookie helping my veteran from the previous turn. But bad guys miss their shots and the regular dude even fumbles, giving himself a pinned counter. That flash bang was however good, as the bandit leader only got to fire his weapon once. 

Back to my guys again. rookie Oleg gets to Sasha and manage to close the second set of AK wound he got. That's a lot of medical items spend across the team in this little skirmish.

Last guy to go is my LMG armed hardened soldier. He hurls a frag grenade into the bandit camp, scoring a critical hit on the throw. The explosion takes out a bandit and wounds Big Nikolai. With the extra action point from the critical Piotr is able to kill the bandit leader - with a lot of bullets from his light machine gun. 

The rest of the game
With the bandits all killed there's still plenty of time left to search the bandit camp. After the main objective is done, there's still time to clear the remaining hot spot. The crew gets in to smart positions, the hot spot is scouted and a bolt is tossed at it. Again I roll well and only got hit by a single zone rat and it was easily killed by the alert stalkers.

The crew manages to gain 19 advancement points, that I'm not too sure how I'll invest. The team loot some gas masks, a med-kit, molotov and 550 worth of salvage.

But there's not a lot left for the retirement fond. The crew have used four med-kits on the run and a couple of grenades. After faction taxes, exchanges rates, selling gas masks, restocking med-kits there's 365,5 zone script left.

That's not enough to be worth exchange back to rubles and put into the bank.

Nevermind that. My crew has the key card, they have more experience and nobody died - I call that a major win!

Now I need to build a couple of ruined apartment buildings for the city center, then we gonna loot that bunker.


  1. Very nice. Thanks for posting that Bat Rep

  2. Well done, thanks for writing up and sharing...
    And I really like the table.
    looking forward to the next rep.

    1. Cheers. There's already a written AAR for the first game on the blogger as well. I think for the third scenario (still need to build some more terrain), I'll play it live on Twitch and make a Let's Play.

  3. nicely done. Thanks for the write up.